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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  May 10, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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weekend. >> we'll see you back here at 6:00. on our broadcast tonight, crisis mode. after the attack in benghazi, did the obama white house put politics ahead of getting to the truth about the night when four americans were murdered overseas? targeted by the irs. a stunning admission and an apology tonight. why the government is saying sorry to the tea party and admitting mistakes were made. >> reporter: found alive. after an incredible 17 days trapped beneath rubble, tonight how a young woman survived an awful building collapse that has now claimed over a thousand lives. and the rising. a spectacular crowning achievement high above new york city. now once again an incomparable view from the top. now once again an incomparable view from the top. "nightly news" begins now. captions paid for by nbc-universal television
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good evening. it is now clear that a lot of things influence what the obama administration said about the attack on september 11 of this past year on the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya. the attack raged for hours. in the end there were four dead. quotes gathered from government e-mails after the event now show some people seem to be as concerned over how to describe it as they were over what had happened. our ambassador and three others had been murdered and yet much of the talk between the white house, the state department and the cia was about talking points -- how to talk about the tragedy on tv, what to say, what not to say. to quote former secretary of state hillary clinton, what difference at this point does it make? well, to those involved in this investigation, trying to track down how the attack happened in the first place and how the story was then wrongly told at first, it makes a lot of difference. it's where we begin tonight with our chief foreign affairs
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correspondent andrea mitchell. good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. the e-mails we have been shown prove what the white house first said about not being involved in the benghazi talking points is just not true. in fact, the state department and the white house were far more involved in watering down the benghazi talking points than they have been saying for months. the benghazi tragedy quickly turned into what insiders call a knife fight between the state department in charge of the mission where ambassador chris stevens and information specialist sean smith died. and the cia which ran a separate outpost where woods and doherty were killed later. three days later at 11:15 a.m. the cia circulated the first draft of talking points requested by the house intelligence committee. it blamed the attack on protests in cairo over an anti-islamic video saying based on currently available information that the attacks in benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the u.s. embassy in cairo. it went on to say we know islamic extremists with ties to al qaeda participated in the
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attacks. and the text pointedly referred to cia warnings. at least five other attacks against foreign interests in benghazi by unidentified assailants. that set off alarms at the state department. at 7:30 that night victoria nuland, a 30-year career diplomat objected e-mailing, why are we encouraging members of congress to start making assertions to the media that we ourselves are not making because we don't want to prejudice the investigation? officials say she was trying to stop the cia from shifting the blame for not protecting benghazi where most of the personnel were attached to the cia. at white house meetings saturday, other officials further watered down the talking points. in all there were 12 separate drafts in the end eliminating all references to terrorism, but keeping the point about the cairo demonstration being the spark that set off the attack. on sunday, u.n. ambassador susan rice followed the guidelines on five talk shows. >> on benghazi was a spontaneous reaction -- >> reporter: in january hillary
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clinton denied a role. >> i wasn't involved in the talking points process. >> reporter: congress demanded to see the controversial e-mails in march before agreeing to confirm john brennan as cia director. the white house was claiming it did not weigh in. >> the cia made changes to the edits, i mean the talking points. >> reporter: the administration insists it was not campaign politics but a turf battle which clearly evolved into a major black eye for everyone involved. brian? >> andrea mitchell starting us off from our d.c. newsroom tonight. andrea, thanks. the obama white house was under fire on two fronts today. here is the other one. the irs is not supposed to be used for political purposes as a lever of government against those who may not agree with the government. but today the irs has apologized for singling out some conservative groups for scrutiny last year. nbc's tom costello also in our
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d.c. newsroom with more tonight. tom, good evening. >> reporter: hi, brian. this all concerns groups that are applying for tax exempt status as social welfare organizations. the irs has apologized for targeting for scrutiny and holding up applications from groups it thought were politically conservative. when the tea party was at its most vocal during the 2012 election cycle the irs now admits its agents singled out tax exempt applications from conservative groups scrutinizing those applications with tea party or patriot in the names. at the time the bush-appointed head of the irs insisted no group was being singled out. >> there is absolutely no targeting. this is the kind of back and forth that happens when people apply for 501-c-4 status. >> reporter: but in a conference call today the irs conceded its employees grouped together 75 applications but only, it insists, because it made for easier processing. >> they didn't do it because of
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any political bias. they did it because it was their shortcut way of describing the cases for centralization. >> reporter: conservative commentators, however, are not buying the explanation. >> they were targeting conservative, slash, right wing groups. harassing them. making it doubly tough for them to qualify for tax exempt status. >> reporter: in ohio, the former president of the liberty coalition says his state group was targeted by the irs which demanded lists of members, donors, even family members and politicians who have spoken. >> they were trying to identify who's in the tea party movement and what we know and what we are planning to do. that's pretty obvious to me. >> reporter: to another group the liberty township tea party, the irs sent a seven-page letter demanding to know its relationship with a private citizen who wasn't even a member of the group. >> what does that translate to? does it translate perhaps to an audit? does it translate to probable cause on something else? >> reporter: today the white house said something clearly went wrong at the irs.
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>> there is no question if this activity took place it is inappropriate and there needs to be action taken. and the president would expect that it be thoroughly investigated and action would be taken. >> reporter: meanwhile republican leaders today blasted the irs accusing it of engaging in shameful abuse and calling for congressional hearings. >> we need to know who did this, when they did it, why they did it. >> reporter: the irs won't say whether any irs employee will be disciplined, but it does say these were career employees, not political appointees. the irs inspector general is also conducting an investigation. brian? >> tom costello in our washington bureau tonight. tom, thanks. chuck todd is our chief white house correspondent and political director with us tonight from the north lawn. so, chuck, benghazi continues to blow up around them. it's not like the irs has a lot of fans already. people do not like hearing the whiff of it being used for political purposes. >> reporter: no. it harkens back to a nixonian-type political tactic in the white house. obviously realizing, particularly on a day like this that it looks doubly bad when
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they are already taking a lot of incoming political fire. they insist that this was rogue agents, if you will, in one office potentially. and that an investigation will come clear. i can tell you, brian, republicans spent more time beating up the white house today on the irs actually than they did on benghazi. but the point on the benghazi thing and the political fallout on this, it is clear. this is still hitting the state department and more specifically hillary clinton's state department. obviously somebody that may end up running for president. that's where you see the political fire. that's where you see the aim. what the white house was trying to say today and what they were implying is they were simply being a mediator between what andrea described as the knife fight between the state department and the cia. the remaining unanswered questions seem to revolve around what exactly was the state department upset about in the various talking points. of course those conversations ended. the e-mail chain stopped at some point. the white house put an end to
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the e-mail chain. none of that is on the record or in print. >> chuck todd at the white house on a friday night. chuck, thanks. we want to let you know there will be much more on all of this -- benghazi in particular -- on "meet the press" this sunday morning. david gregory's guests include darrell issa and dianne feinstein sunday on this nbc station. in bangladesh an incredible ray of hope 17 days after a building collapse left more than a thousand garment workers dead. just about everybody had given up hope that anyone else would be found alive there. but today in the ruins of one of the worst industrial accidents in history, it happened. nbc's ian williams has our story. >> reporter: it was a stunning moment. a young woman pulled alive from the rubble after more than two weeks. the day began much differently with the grim work of recovering
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the dead. more than a thousand as of this morning. then workers heard tapping on a steel pipe and a faint cry. "i'm alive, please save me." bulldozers and heavy equipment were shut down. workers used hand saws and drilling equipment to cut through debris. a crowd gathered, some prayed. finally after 40 minutes the young seamstress named reshma begum was pulled free and rushed to a waiting ambulance. doctors say she's in remarkably good shape having survived on bottled water she found around her in a pocket formed by the collapsed debris. [ speaking in a foreign language ] i never dreamed i'd see daylight again she said from her hospital bed. i was saved by god. three others trapped with her did not survive. the rescue raised hopes for the scores of workers still missing. family members still stand vigil near the factory ruins. among those who rushed to reshma's bedside today, bangladesh's prime minister.
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she's facing tough questions about working conditions in her country's $20 billion garment industry. so are brand name companies drawn here by some of the lowest wages on earth. suddenly under intense pressure to improve worker safety. now alive against all odds, reshma has given those demands for change a human face. the use of heavy machinery at the site remains suspended. rescue workers have resumed their search in the faint hope that others can still be found alive. brian? >> incredible story. ian williams with our report tonight. ian, thanks. britain's prince harry continued his week-long visit to the united states at arlington national cemetery today, wearing his full dress british army uniform. as a combat veteran himself he laid a wreath at a randomly selected grave site with a handwritten note honoring his
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comrades in arms signed simply captain harry wales. later he visited wounded service members at walter reed medical center. because of their shared experience he was able to trade stories about his tours in afghanistan. he said how impressed he was with the technology used to help amputees who have returned from combat. still ahead for us on a friday night, the missing. dozens of women and girls who vanished near the same cleveland neighborhood where those three young women escaped. tonight, what about the other families still waiting? and later an amazing view from the top. a finishing touch, an emotional day high above lower manhattan.
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in cleveland tonight, the last of the three young women who escaped after a decade being held prisoner inside a home have now left the hospital. michelle knight released a statement thanking the community and asking for her privacy. meantime the investigation there continues including a new look at the disappearance of dozens of other women in the area nearby. we get our report tonight from nbc's kate snow in cleveland. >> reporter: a tall fence went up today around the home prosecutors refer to as a torture chamber as investigators continued their painstaking work. ariel castro is accused of horrific crimes against the three women found here this week. but today the ohio attorney general said his dna didn't match any other outstanding cases in ohio. but the dna testing did prove one thing.
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ariel castro is the father of the 6-year-old girl who fled the home monday with her captive mother, amanda berry. >> she's a cutie. >> reporter: special agent vicky anderson spent time with her this week. >> there were no playmates. there was nothing. maybe he did take her out to burger king and mcdonald's and out for certain treats or whatever. but there were no regular interactions with people. >> reporter: for dozens of families in cleveland what happened this week is providing new hope. 34 teens and young women have gone missing within ten miles of castro's house over the past six years, including ashley summers. she disappeared at 14 in the same area where berry, dejesus and knight were abducted. her mother jennifer spoke exclusively to nbc news. >> it's been a restless week. you know, my heart's been restless. i have been feeling all kinds of emotions. happy for the girls that were
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found. very sad that it wasn't my daughter. wondering when it's going to be her turn. >> reporter: the fbi is looking to see if there might be a connection to ariel castro. >> we have not found anything regarding ariel castro to this point that leads us to believe that he had anything to do with ashley at this point. now maybe that becomes uncovered later. we just don't know yet. >> reporter: are you looking? >> absolutely. everybody is aware. if you hear ashley summers's name, let's get on that immediately. everybody has been looking. >> reporter: hoping maybe this long week will lead to other clues for families still waiting. kate snow, nbc news, cleveland. >> by the way, you can see more of kate snow's reporting from cleveland tonight on "rock center" at 10:00 p.m./9:00 central here on this nbc station. up next for us tonight, when the flight attendants tell you to turn off those electronic devices, how many people really do?
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it's called the ring of fire for good reason.
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if you were lucky enough to be in the australian outback last night, just about the time we went on the air then you saw this. a spectacular eclipse of the sun. photographers were out in force and captured some truly stunning images. unbeknownst to most folks on earth the international space station makes a trip around the world every 90 minutes. carrying six adults, hurtling around the globe at around 17,000 miles an hour. they have had anxious moments on board over the last 24 hours. they use an ammonia-based cooling system. the ammonia has been leaking into space. when it exits into the cold vacuum of space, you can see there it looks like snow flakes. they have stabilized the problem but there is a spacewalk tentatively scheduled for tomorrow so two of them can take
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a look. now is your chance to own an aircraft that has flown u.s. presidents. the government is selling an aging dc-9 bearing the paint scheme from when it carried presidents and vice presidents for over 30 years. the aircraft was used when a smaller alternative was needed to the 747, usually on shorter airport runways. the posted price of the heavily used aircraft is $50,000. video we found from 1999 shows the last time it carried a president and was designated air force one. bill clinton's trip to buffalo, new york. quick show of hands. how many people really do turn off their electronic devices when told to by the flight attendant? we didn't think so. a study out today from two different passenger groups says 30% of passengers admit to forgetting to turn them off. 59% say they always make a point to turn them off. that seemed, frankly, a bit high to us. the f.a.a. is reviewing a new policy on electronics that is more, shall we say, closely rooted to the real world. when we come back here tonight, a shining moment at ground zero. rising to heights this country has never seen before. ♪
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tonight there is a new shiny and sharp point topping out the
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tonight there is a new shiny and sharp point topping out the new york city skyline. a new king of tall buildings, not far from where the old ones once stood. today the spire was placed atop the new world trade center, freedom tower as it is officially known. over 12 years after terrorists knocked down the buildings and killed the people inside. nbc's anne thompson watched the new spire go up this morning and has our report tonight. >> reporter: today new york city got a little taller. early this morning the final pieces of one world trade center's spire were put in place, live on the "today" show. >> i just want to give you a sense of where i'm standing. i'm on a platform right on the edge. take a look down. 105 stories down. >> reporter: 1520 feet in the air, matt lauer gave the signal. >> let's have the crowning achievement. >> reporter: a crane operator perched above the tower carefully maneuvers the 22-ton section into place and lowered
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it down to a waiting crew. >> this thing is lowering into place and apparently it's in right now. [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: it took seven years for the office building to reach this moment. a celebration of joy and pride from the construction workers above. >> it's a good feeling. we're making history. >> reporter: and the people below. >> i get emotional every time i see a new stage go up on it. i'm very happy about it. >> reporter: the tower now stands 1776 feet high. it is the tallest building in the western hemisphere, and so much more. it rises from a source of resolve. >> i can hear you. the rest of the world hears you. >> reporter: remember. [ bell ringing ] >> david robert myer. >> nurell h. neha. >> the united states conducted an operation that killed osama bin laden. >> reporter: and retribution.
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>> usa! usa! >> reporter: the 2,753 people killed here on september 11th are not forgotten. they are remembered nearby. this tower has a different purpose. >> it's nice to close that chapter. it's been a cloud over the neighborhood for a long time. >> reporter: a beacon of resilience to the nation and beyond. anne thompson, nbc news, new york. and that is our broadcast on a friday night and for this week. thank you for being here with us. don't forget. we are back on the air tonight with an all new "rock center" at 10:00/9:00 central. tonight from the boardwalk in seaside heights we have a candid conversation with new jersey governor chris christie. also tonight, jimmy connors and the first look at his eye-opening new autobiography about his life in tennis and beyond. i'm brian williams. we'll look for you right back here, of course, on monday night. in the meantime, have a good weekend. in the meantime, have a good weekend. good night. -- captions by vitac --
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good evening, everyone, i'm jessica aguirre. >> i'm raj mathai. it's an international story that starts and might end here in the bay area. new details tonight about that deadly america's cup crash. what happened and what's the future of this event. will it still happen this summer? the swedish racing team training for this upcoming race lost one of its own when its boat capsized. a 36-year-old olympic medal winner who had just moved his family here from england died. nbc bay area has more from treasure island. stephanie, this was a big money
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event. would they consider cancelling it based on what's happened? >> reporter: good evening, that is the big question. all that america's cup official7 would say today is that nothing is off the table. too early to tell. here on treasure island is where you can get a pretty good vantage point. here is where angel island is, and then a little to your left is alcatraz. in the middle of these locations is where the boat capsized. we're learning the sailors were in the middle of a move that led to the capsize, one that sailing experts say is the most dangerous of all. >> broken into many pieces. >> reporter: the "artemis" boat "big red" was split in half. it threw strategist andrew "bart" simpson into the water. the two-time olympic medalist did not survive. >> andrew was